Houston 4th of July

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Euphoric Reality sends the following report:

By Heidi at Euphoric Reality

Last year, I experienced a Fourth of July that I never want to repeat. I wrote about it, but at the time, I don't think my experience registered on anyone's radar. Here's part of the description as I posted it last year:

...all day, I was looking forward to the famous Freedom Over Texas Celebration in Houston - one of the top 10 patriotic shows and fireworks displays in the country. I was determined to brave the crowds (which my husband and I typically loathe) with kiddos in tow, in order to enjoy the culminating holiday of our nation’s heritage. We drove an hour to downtown Houston, spent 20 minutes looking for parking, and finally stepped into the crowds to move toward the center of the Celebration.

Here is what I saw as I crossed Allen Parkway near Buffalo Bayou:

There were NO 4th of July decorations - NONE. No red, white, and blue - anywhere.
There were no American flags.
No one was dressed in red, white, and blue except me and my kids.
There were no patriotic songs.
There was no indication of patriotic pride or nationalism in any way…

No one - not one person around us - spoke English.
The music that was blasting through the loudspeakers was Mexican mariachi or some such.
Home made pig skins were sold in baggies - and screeching kids in dirty clothes were hawking water bottles out of grubby coolers.
I saw more green Mexican flags and paraphernalia than anything American-themed.

What is this - Houston, Mexico?! Had I mistakenly ended up in some grungy street carnival in Little Mexico, instead of one of the “Top 10 Patriotic Celebrations in the Country”?! I knew that there was supposed to be military equipment displays somewhere in the center (which I was making a bee-line for), along with stages for Clint Black and LeAnn Rimes. I’m not a country-western aficionado, but I knew that I could most likely expect a moving patriotic song or two. As the crowds surged toward the Freedom Celebration, my family and I lagged more and more behind. Hot, sweaty, and rudely jostled in the rowdy crowd - I grew more and more angry. Looking around, I realized that no one seemed to be there to celebrate the 4th of July. It seemed like any generic public fiesta - just one more reason to party. I stopped walking and finally acknowledged the fact that whatever ‘celebracion’ was going on around us had nothing to do with America. I was far beyond disappointed…I was furious.

We left.

I took a lot of heat in the comments from people who objected to the fact that I objected to a Mexican-themed Fourth of July. But others wrote in comments and via email that they had seen and experienced a similar hi-jacking of our national holiday; they seemed more bewildered than furious. "How did this happen? When did this happen?!" There was no real public indignation.

Fast forward to 2006. This year, the in-your-face waving of the Mexican flag will have much more significance considering the politically-charged events of the past year. In a year that has seen illegal aliens gleefully desecrate Old Glory, and raise the Mexican flag over our own, such an offensive display is guaranteed to raise the ire of red-blooded Americans. After a year's worth of heavy-handed demands for the rights and privileges of full citizenship, illegal aliens and AINOs (Americans In Name Only) may feel emboldened to wave the Mexican flag during our Independence Day celebrations - just as they did last year with no public outcry.

I, for one, won't leave a 4th of July celebration like I did last year - furious but silent. I will say something to anyone who flaunts a foreign flag during our Independence Day. I want them to know it's inappropriate, deliberately incendiary, and offensive to people who deeply love this country and our valiant flag. This year, I have a feeling I won't be standing alone.




This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the War on Terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

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zimzo said:

"Whatever ‘celebracion’ was going on around us had nothing to do with America."

Nothing to do with America? I'm sorry to have to inform you but America is more than military displays and Clint Black and Liann Rimes. What makes you think that "grungy little carnivals," "homemade pig skins in bags" and "mariachi music" have nothing to do with America?

It is ironic that your conception of a "real" independence day celebration doesn't include Kristian Menchaca. The son of Mexican immigrants, he was born in Houston and grew up in Brownsville. He preffered taquitos de trompo con cilantro y cebolla to hamburgers. He often crossed the border to Mexico to visit his extended family there. He dropped out of high school but got a GED, played basketball and worked at a gas station and a Wendy's. Then he enlisted in the army and was sent to Iraq. On June 16 he was abducted by Iraqi insurgents and a few days later his tortured and mutilated body was found. He had just gotten married last September. His body was flown back to Brownsville where he was buried. At his funeral his mother cried out in Spanish "Por que? Por que mi hijo?" You may recognize him from his picture:


But, of course, people like Kristian Menchaca have "nothing to do with America." They just die America.

Wow, powerful bit of prose, though not particularly relevant. Heidi's post was specifically about a 4th of July event which in her view reflected "America" insufficiently. Mexican flags waving over Houston. She's justified in being perturbed.

zimzo said:

This year if she had attended that event she would have witnessed a memorial for Kristian Menchaca. Her view of "America" seems pretty narrow to most Americans. It was very relevant.

Obviously I disagree - and in fact think she makes a very good point if what she wrote about last year is what she saw. The point of her post is a 4th of July event, not Mexican culture in general. But thanks for sharing your opinion. I can see how some might read it as culturallly insensitive.

zimzo said:

Gee, Joe, your ideological bedfellow over at Euphoric Reality seems to be a bit touchy.

She's no shrinking violet; if you intend to pull her pigtails be sure you're wearing a flak jacket

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